Advocacy: Increasing Citizen Voice and Agency

Advocacy: Increasing Citizen Voice and Agency

On campus class cancelled for 2020. Check back for our online offerings.

Advocacy is a planned action directed at influencing positive change in our communities and societies. This certificate is designed to strengthen the capacity of civil society actors and others dealing with issues of power, exclusion, inequity, and inequality to plan and implement effective advocacy and engagement initiatives that strengthen citizen agency and voice. It provides participants interested in a rights-based approach to advocacy with a strategic framework to analyze past and to plan for future advocacy initiatives, as well as to build skills in key aspects of the process.

Personal Benefits include:

  • developing skills in influencing public policy at various levels; visioning; contextual analysis; problem/issue identification; power mapping; goal setting; analyzing arenas for action; strategy selection; lobbying and negotiation; citizen mobilization; coalition-building; and monitoring and evaluating advocacy campaigns;
  • learning the theoretical foundations and critical issues in human rights advocacy; and
  • strengthening communication skills which are to key to making an effective case for change.

Organizational Benefits include:

  • increasing capacity to strategize and co-ordinate joint advocacy campaigns;
  • improving consistency and effectiveness of advocacy campaigns;
  • identifying organizational legitimacy and credibility to undertake advocacy; and
  • enabling greater influence in public policy and mobilizing public opinion to support social, economic, and political change.

Who should take the Program?

This program is designed for new and/or experienced advocacy and development practitioners from organizations, coalitions, institutions, or social movements working to advance human rights and social justice, primarily in the Global South.

Learning Methods

Through experiential and learner-centered methods, the course will draw on the experiences and stories of participants through varied learning methods, including interactive mini-lectures, small group discussions, analysis of video case studies, field visits, and a variety of skill-building exercises. Participants will have an opportunity to apply the advocacy planning process in issue-based groups throughout the course.


A mix of institutional and private donors who share Coady Institute’s vision of community-based, citizen-lead change subsidize the institute’s educational programs. As possible, Coady will provide qualifying candidates with a partial bursary to assist with course fees. However, all participants will be responsible for fees payable of at least $2,300 CAD, as well as travel and other costs. Fees are payable prior to the start of the selected course.

Please note that Coady International Institute does not accept third party applications. Individuals need to submit their application via Coady’s website and should use caution when approached by those offering services to complete the application and admissions process.